We are NOT currently accepting applications.
Please submit an interest form
and we will contact you at the beginning of our next hiring process.
We Do More Than Fight Fire
In addition to fighting fires, Durham firefighters provide emergency medical assistance to the citizens and visitors of Durham. We dutifully examine buildings for familiarization and to check for fire hazards. We invest hours in territorial studies — learning the best routes throughout the district. We regularly inspect and maintain the city’s fire hydrants to ensure that they are as ready for the next emergency as we are. We keep our stations clean and our apparatus ready to respond. Most importantly, we continuously train - drills, classes, independent study — whatever it takes.
We are committed to service excellence.
Must be at least 18 years old
Must have a high school diploma or GED
No felony convictions
No DWI convictions in the last four years
Valid driver’s license. (Must acquire NC license upon hiring)
Must be a permanent U.S. resident
Criminal history records check from the applicant’s local law enforcement agency of residence for the past seven years
Driver’s history printout from the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (N.C. residents) or from the location(s) where applicant has resided covering the past seven years
The hiring process consists of five components:
1. Complete a City of Durham Application. If submitting your application online, retain your Sent email as verification as well as the 'Acknowledgement and Information' email you will receive as confirmation that your application has been received. (Please note: applications go to the Human Resources Department located in City Hall and not Fire Administration)
3. Written Exam
4. Physical Agility Test
5. Oral Review Board (Interview)
Entry level applicants
will be given a general cognition test. (No firefighting related questions appear on this test) A civil service exam study guide is a great place to start your preparations. We also recommend you try a firefighter entry-level exam study guide
Certified Firefighter applicants will be given a job knowledge test from the IFSTA Essentials of Firefighting 5 Ed.
You will need to score a 70 or above to successfully complete the test or you will be disqualified from the remainder of the hiring process.
Physical Agility Test
You will be required to demonstrate flexibility.
You will be required to, while wearing a 50 pound weighted vest, couple two 2.5 inch fire hoses to a master stream device, then climb four flights of stairs and hoist, through a window, a 50 foot section of 2.5 inch fire hose with a nozzle attached. You will need to complete this task in seventy (70) seconds or less.
You will then complete a ladder lift as well as climb the ladder to demonstrate comfort with heights.
You will then be required to complete a confined space maze with your face completely covered You will need to complete this task in fewer than 5 minutes.
You will be required to drag a rescue mannequin weighing 165 lbs. for 100 feet in fewer than forty (40) seconds.
Finally, you will be required to run 1.5 miles in a limited period of time. Specific time parameters are based on age and gender.
If you are unable to successfully complete any portion of the agility test within the specified time frames, you will be disqualified from the remainder of the hiring process.
The agility test and written exam will be performed on the same day. Be prepared to take your agility test first, then your written exam. The agility test requires that you wear athletic shoes and exercise clothing.
Oral Review Board
Candidates who successfully complete both the written exam and the physical agility test may be invited in for an interview. Review panels generally consist of three individuals who will ask the candidates several questions and review their responses.
A background investigation will be conducted for all candidates being considered for hire after the completion of the oral review board. A background investigation includes, but is not limited to, verification of job performance at previous places of employment, as well as a criminal background check, and a review of the applicant’s driving record.
Positions will be offered contingent on the results of a physical exam/health screening, audio/visual test, and drug/alcohol test.
Schedule, Salary, Benefits
The Durham Fire Department has a 24-hour day, rotating shift schedule. The report time is 7 a.m. and you will work one 24 hour period and rest one 24 hour period until you have worked a total of five days. Then you will rest for six consecutive days. So, for example, you might:
Report 7 a.m. Monday — Exit 7 a.m. Tuesday
Report 7 a.m. Wednesday — Exit 7 a.m. Thursday
Report 7 a.m. Friday — Exit 7 a.m. Saturday
Report 7 a.m. Sunday — Exit 7 a.m. Monday
Report 7 a.m. Tuesday — Exit 7 a.m. Wednesday
Rest Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Report 7 a.m. Tuesday — Exit 7 a.m. Wednesday
Starting Salary: $33,000
Bilingual Incentive: $1,000 annual bonus paid to those fluent in Spanish or sign language. (Contingent on passing a fluency exam)
Education Incentives: 2.5 percent for associate degree or 5 percent for bachelor degree.
Affordable Family Add-on
Specialty Insurance Options (e.g. short term disability, etc.)
401 K/ 457 - 4 to 9 percent Employer Contribution
Local Government Retirement Pension